To prepare the integrated skills test: reading comprehension and oral expression and interaction for the C1 level of the DELE properly it’s important to know all its secrets. That’s why we’re going to tell you everything about the test, ¡even the examiner’s point of view! Keep reading to discover the keys to succeed.
Twenty minutes before your test time, a member of the support staff will come to meet you. This person will take you to the preparation room, where you’ll be given the materials you need and explained the instructions so you can start getting prepared. Be careful! This material will remain in the preparation room. That’s why they’ll give you a pencil and a blank sheet of paper in which you can make your notes that you can bring with you and refer to. In the exam room, you’ll have an exact copy of the materials.
You’ll have to prepare two tasks of the three that make up the test:
For Task 1 you’ll have to choose one of the sheets of text offered by the support staff. It will be a long text having around 800 words. You’ll need to make a 3-5 minute summary of the text for the interviewer, adding your own reasoned opinions.
Tip: To do your summary, I recommend being organized and finding the central theme of the text, dividing the main ideas from the secondary ones, distinguishing the author’s intent, etc. Remember, you can make an outline on the blank sheet of paper and during the exam you can LOOK AT your notes, but NOT READ them verbatim.
For Task 2 you’ll have a formal discussion with the interviewer based on your opinions from Task 1. The conversation will last 4-6 minutes. In this task the interviewer will verify whether you can maintain a conversation by formally defending your position and responding fluently to complex questions, comments, and arguments to the contrary.
Once in the exam room, the interviewer will ask how you are, your name and country, how long you’ve been studying Spanish, etc., but be careful! This is NOT yet the exam. The evaluator won’t talk to you, they will be there just to evaluate your test. You’ll again be given the sheet you had in the preparation room and will now be able to start your presentation for Task 1. When you’re done, you will directly move on to Task 2 and then to Task 3, the one you haven’t prepared. The interviewer will give you a picture with a photograph or illustration (newspaper headlines, posters, advertisements, slogans, etc.) that reflects different aspects of the same subject. The task is to hold a formal conversation with the interviewer for about 4-6 minutes in order to reach an agreement. In this task they will evaluate your ability to exchange ideas, express and justify opinions, or make assessments in order to negotiate and be able to reach an agreement.Tip: It’s important to show you know how to negotiate. It’s not good to agree with the interviewer right from the start, but you shouldn’t cling to an option up to the end without offering a chance for dialog either. I recommend you start by proposing an option that isn’t the one you feel most strongly about, so you can later change to the one you do believe in.
From the examiner’s point of view
The evaluator will assess Tasks 1, 2, and 3 independently. However, the interviewer will give you an overall grade for the entire test. In both cases the grade can be fail with 0 or 1, pass for the level at 2, or a 3, pass and above the level applied for.
The interviewer will give you a score of 2 if you provide the most important content from the text found on the sheet as well as the required information. Likewise, you must be able to present your arguments fluently, accurately, naturally, and in a clear and structured way. Don’t worry if you hesitate now and then, this will not negatively affect your score. You must choose the correct language elements to formulate what you want to say and show a high degree of grammatical correction that allows you to express yourself clearly. Finally, you will need to be able to chat fluently with the interviewer and contribute to the negotiation’s progress in Task 3, responding spontaneously and appropriately, with flexibility and effectiveness, and reinforcing communication with paralinguistic actions.
The evaluator will score you based on four criteria: coherency, fluency, correction and range.
The evaluator will confirm that your discourse is clear, well-structured, and that you make controlled use of organizational structures, connectors, and cohesion mechanisms: You must begin, develop, and conclude your discourse clearly and appropriately. In addition, you must choose the correct phrases to introduce your comments in order to take or keep the floor and skillfully connect your interventions to those of the interviewer.
The evaluator will also focus on whether you can express yourself fluently and spontaneously with little effort, with clear and natural pronunciation and varied intonation to express nuances of meaning or attitude. If something hinders your fluency, you should know how to reformulate it paraphrasing, without completely interrupting your discourse.
The evaluator will check that you display high grammatical correction. At this level, the candidate is expected to have mastered the grammar and make no mistakes. If there’s an occasional error it will not negatively affect the test, especially if you correct yourself. However, if multiple errors are made during the test, the score for correction will be marked as a fail.
The evaluator will focus on your linguistic repertoire and if you use colloquial expressions that allow you to express yourself clearly and appropriately. Tip: If for some reason you can’t find the word you’re looking for during the exam, describe it, look for a synonym, express it in another way. You need to show you have the tools to make yourself understood, even if you don’t have the right word.
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Now you know how the test will be and the aspects the examiners will pay attention to you can relax and prepare yourself for it. We’re sure you’ll pass without any problems.
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